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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll start by summarizing. I just inherited this car from my father, he is very non-technical and was tired of dealing with issues with his Saab so he handed the keys over to me since I have the time and patience to work on cars. This car has plenty of cosmetic issues and quality of life things I plan to fix/upgrade eventually but currently I'm just working on getting the car to the point I can drive it reliably. My current focus is a parasitic drain on the battery and the headlights (low beams) don't work.

For the headlights, the high beams and DRLs work. I already swapped out the xenon bulbs but that didn't get the low beams to come on still. I was considering that both low beam igniters could be bad but I don't know of how common that is, the igniters don't show any signs of abuse or element exposure. The main wire harness going into the driver's side headlight is frayed, some copper is exposed on a few wires and has been for a while judging by how dull the exposed copper is. None of the wires are broken though, I haven't had a chance to check for continuity with my voltmeter but I'm not sure that this issue would cause both low beams to be out. The headlight selector switch in the cabin is also old, sticky and the metal tabs holding it in were all broken off so I also suspected that was might be the issue. I have a new headlight switch coming and I plan to do a continuity test and eventually fix the wire harness going to the drivers headlight. Is there a way I can test the igniters to rule them out as well? I was going to ask if there is anything else that can cause low beams not to work but I need to move onto the parasitic load for context.

The parasitic load is sometimes as high as 4 amps and is coming from some of the MAXI fuses in the main engine bay, I have read other threads here talking about Amp under the drivers seat and a few other fuses in the main cabin drivers side like fuse 14, 18 and 23. How is that related to headlights? I don't know for sure the extent of my knowledge comes from one week of hyperfocused research on this car on these and other forums lol. My concern is the keyfob for this car was left out in the sun by a friend of my father's and it is damaged. It's seems mostly cosmetic, the plastic shell is a mess and the battery is dead. I ordered a new shell and battery but I read that the keyfob could be completely dead and still start the car, the buttons don't seem to lock/unlock doors but I'm not able to tell if that is keyfob related or electrical related. The other issue I suspect I have is the ignition start module is, weird. I will get into the car and sometimes putting the key in it won't turn. Taking the key out and reinserting will usually fix this after 1 or 2 times. Sometimes it isn't needed at all. Again, I can't tell if the keyfob is bad or the ism is bad. I read a bad ism can cause all sorts of electrical issues including parasitic loads due to systems not turning off properly, so I have a replacement ism on the way too. I have a lot of work to do this weekend but I'm trying to see if there are any other tests I can do now to potentially order parts so I can get ahead of further issues. All of the parts I've ordered so far were cheap and fairly necessary anyway so if they turn out to not be the fix it's not a huge deal.

So with that little bit of context I'm trying to figure out what else could be causing the lowbeams not working and the parasitic draw. Keep in mind it will be difficult to test fuses considering the ism and or keyfob are making the car throw a fit. I can't tell if I just need to wait longer for systems to finish up and shut off (I read a few threads that I need to leave the car alone for several minutes before I can truly call a draw a parasitic load, which is exhausting when I need to open the door to get into the cabin to pull/replace fuses each time I test lol) or if the system is not turning off because the ism/keyfob didn't tell them to turn off like they were supposed to, or if the system is actually faulty and won't turn off even with a working ism/keyfob. It's a whole mess. Good news is I'm home all day today so I can take pictures, test and fiddle with any suggestion I may get here. This is already a long and rambling request for help but below I will list some other issues that I know of just in case they happen to be related and I just don't know enough to realize.

Drivers side door window buttons won't roll windows up or down. Putting the convertible top down will roll all the windows down. Putting the top back up will roll all the windows up. I ordered a new drivers side window master switch with finger protection to install this weekend.

Keyfob internal battery was likely dead for many many months. Car also sat without a battery for a few months as well. (Potential keyfob sync issue or full reprogram needed?)

Car has 75,000 miles, and runs very well. Turns over instantly every time (then the key actually turns lol) and has never given my father even the slightest bit of engine trouble. It's all been little annoying things and electrical quirks that made him get fed up with it. I've driven it and he had been using it as a daily driver up until a few months ago and neither of us ever saw any engine knocking, leaks under the car, any weird idling issues or any obvious signs of engine/trans trouble so I'm fortunate in that respect.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and for any suggestions or help any of you have to offer! I will do best to answer any questions or provide whatever info I can relating to the car! I plan of having this thing for a long time so I hope to learn everything I can about it.
 

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Get those parts installed and go from there.
 

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Buy a used key off ebay and swap the guts over. Get a second key ASAP. Used keys cannot be reprogrammed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do have a new fob case coming and plan to swap the guts into that once it is here. If I get a new key it can be reprogrammed by plugging it into the car or I need to take it somewhere? I need a special tool to swap out the window switch component? I thought it would just be plugging in the new one into the doorpanel harness
 

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key needs tech2 to program
guts swap is easy diy
door panel switch will likely need tech2 as well but you can always try it and see
 

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New fob needs TECH2.
Window switchpack needs TECH2 to marry it to car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oof, well I'll cross my fingers and see if the window switch works. I will likely be getting a tech2 at some point anyway because I plan on swapping out a lot of parts for newer ones that are in better shape. Door buttons, dash components, side mirrors, making a second key just in case, etc. Any recommendations or links to another thread on how to use/where to get a tech
 

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I need a special tool to swap out the window switch component?
Same tool you'd need for a Chevrolet or GMC. The good news is that if you're lucky, replacing the driver door module will fix your battery drain too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Headlights: Check fuses 16 and 26 in UEC.
Fob needs to place in ignition switch for resync it. Repeat this with all fobs NEVER GO WITH JUST 1 FOB! When you loose last one, you need new CIM with paired fob and TECH2.
You need TECH2 for window switchpack change.

I checked fuses 16 and 26 and they are both good. High beams and daytime running lights both work its just the low beams that are out and I replaced the xenon bulbs already. I'm down to either the headlight switch being bad (new one arriving tomorrow), both igniters being out, or an issue with the wiring harness unless there is a 4th option I don't know about.
 

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xenon modules underneath the headlight go bad all the time, specially if water is leaking into headlight or u see any sign of condensation.
 

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need to get hold of a ballast and replace it..if that doesn't work sounds like the UEC has gone..
 

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Double check ignitors also. 2005 have separate ignitor and D2S bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Double check ignitors also. 2005 have separate ignitor and D2S bulb.
I looked at the ignitors but I can't tell if they are bad or not. They were only 40bucks each on ebay so I ordered new ones of those as well but they won't arrive until mid next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So an update. I replaced the ISM and that fixed all of the parasitic loads. Huge relief there! I have a new window master switch but haven't installed it due to needing a tech2, unfortunately unplugging and replacing the existing window master switch didn't fix that issue. I checked and of the fuses in the car are good, the only things I couldn't check were the relays. However the relay for the low beams also control the high beams and those are still working. I also replaced both xenon bulbs and both xenon igniters and both low beams still don't work. The only thing I have left to replace is the headlight switch in the cabin but that seems to work. If I turn that switch to headlights on, and pull the high beam lever the high beams stay on. Whereas of the headlight switch is turned to fog or off pulling the high beam lever only flashes them. So that switch seems to be working properly. What is the next step for the low beams? Ballasts?
 
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